said 12 months ago:
Not everyone has the luxury or know-how to code from scratch
I have used Genesis for several years now and am very happy with it. I have a few sites that are plug-in happy. There is no slow down on small sites, so don’t stress over that too much. Granted, if your site has thousands of visitors a day, code bloat and too many plugins could become an issue.
That said, not all themes are user friendly out of the box. I have bought more than one theme from ThemeForest.com, downloaded it and once getting to the theme admin area threw my hands up in disgust because it required pages worth of reading documentation to figure it all out.
At least Genesis and those of that caliber are user friendly and highly intuitive. Though not all of the child themes are created by expert designers (I’ve bought 2 recently that are so not up to par).
I prefer Genesis because of the ability to use the “Simple Hooks” and “Simple Edits” plug ins to add code exactly where you want it.
As for the table function, just like @Egaile said, http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-table-reloaded/ , is a good one. I have it installed and have used it. I’m self taught when it comes to css and html, I’m still not 100% comfy with DIVs yet either lol
Speaking of code!! Every time I post I must remember to double hard return after every paragraph. It’s annoying and makes reading a PITA. Could we get that fixed?